Council executive approve Blackpool North tramway extension

Despite a delay a few weeks ago Blackpool Council’s executive have now approved plans for the extension of the tramway to North Station. The executive met this week and agreed to proceed with the plans which will now move forward to full council who will also have to agree before an application is submitted to the government for a Transport and Works Act Order.

As we have reported extensively before this extension will leave the current Promenade route at North Pier running through Talbot Square and then up Talbot Road to Blackpool North where a new terminus and transport interchange will be constructed. A new stop will also be constructed in Talbot Square. It is expected that trams will run every 10 minutes to North Station with alternate departures for Bispham and Pleasure Beach, this would necessitate a further two trams to be ordered to maintain present frequencies on the remainder of the route. This is the current plan but things do have a habit of changing before the actual line is ready for passengers.

The full council will now meet to discuss the plans next week. If they agree that the plan is a goer a Transport and Works Act Order will be submitted to the Department for Transport. It is then anyones guess as to how long it will take a for a final decision to be made, especially as the government may have a few other things on their plate in the coming weeks, months and years now.

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7 Responses to Council executive approve Blackpool North tramway extension

  1. Nigel Pennick says:

    Good news. The ‘other things’ the government will have to deal with should not interfere with authorizations that need to be made quickly, such as this welcome extension. If Parliamentary blockage does delay it further, then this is another reason why such decisions should be devolved from Westminster.

    • Steve Hyde says:

      There seems to be a backlog of Transport and Works Act applications at present. This is said to be in large part due to the amount of heavy rail work in progress. Whilst Midland Metro gained its TWA Order this week Manchester is still awaiting the Trafford Line order which apparently has been with the Secretary of State for quite a while.

      As for devolution, that wouldn’t assist as a TWAO would always need central government approval. Schemes could possibly be progressed locally much further than now but Public Inquiries and final TWA sign off would still rest in Westminster.

      I would imagine that it is almost certain that objections will force an Inquiry with the consequent lengthened timescales. The 18 months mentioned below by Michael sounds pretty typical.

      • Nigel Pennick says:

        They told us red tape would be significantly cut if we left the EU, so afterwards it should only take 15 years instead of the usual 20 to get a tramline built.

  2. Michael says:

    The length of delay in government approval could depend on whether or not there is a public enquiry in the event of any objections to the scheme being lodged. If there was an enquiry then one estimate of the delay is up to 18 months. There is certainly some opposition to the extension within Blackpool, not least from taxi drivers who have said that trams crossing the promenade will cause further traffic congestion.

  3. John says:

    Its hardly going to make any difference with an extra traffic light phase when a Tram crosses! An extra red light every xx minutes.

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